The Boxcar Children Mysteries161 books in series
Follow four resourceful orphans who come up with an ingenious plan for sticking together as they navigate the world, solve mysteries, and search for a home.
Orphans, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden are determined to stay together as a family—even if that means learning to live on their own. After running away from seemingly caring adults who plan to separate them, they discover an abandoned boxcar deep in the woods. With some hard work and a little ingenuity, the kids make it their home. But can they truly live in a boxcar forever?
Created and originally written by Gertrude Chandler Warner, a first-grade teacher, in 1924, this classic children's series follows Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Bennie as they overcome obstacles, find a happy home where they least expect it (with their grandfather, who is wealthy and kind, even though they had believed he was cruel), and go on to have grand adventures and solve fascinating mysteries together.
Tim Gregory and Aimee Lilly take turns narrating this series, which numbers more than 150 titles, so you'll have wonderful continuity of characters’ voices throughout. Only the first 19 books were actually written by Warner, but the entire series features the beloved creator’s byline. While earlier books are set in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, more recent titles take place in settings familiar to today’s young listeners. Throughout, The Boxcar Children Mysteries teach timeless lessons in self-reliance, getting along, and helping others, while reinforcing the true meaning of family values and love.
If you want to know the origin story of the Alden orphans, start with book one, The Boxcar Children. Or, better yet, begin with The Boxcar Children Beginning, penned by Newbery Award-winning author Patricia MacLachlan. A loving tribute to the classic novels, this prequel was released in 2012; Tim Gregory narrates the audio version. After getting acquainted with Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny, feel free to listen to the series in any order, picking whichever adventure sounds most exciting to you or your kids.